Initiative and effective work with local self-government helped residents of Chorgochu village to bring big changes

poster about local self-government
Aymira Omurkanova, far left, is discussing projects with other members of Aiyldyk Bashkaruu organization based in Chorgochu village.

Recently residents of a remote small village of Chorgochu in Jalal-Abad province installed a new power line and a transformer in their village. Electric light, without which many cannot imagine their lives, was first introduced to houses of about 20 families living on the outskirts of the village.

Partially this was an achievement of Aymira Omurkanova, a mother-heroine who is raising seven children. Aiyldyk Bashkaruu public organization headed by Aymira organized local residents and cleared all issues related to the power line with the local authorities. They raised more than 95,000 soms and installed the power line of 3000 meters.

Highlights

  • The only civic organization in the village is led by a mother of seven children.
  • The organization helped to install 3000 meters of additional power lines for 20 families
  • More than 5 km of road in the village renovated

Aiyldyk Bashkaruu public organization was created in 2012 by Aymira in order to promote initiatives to improve the infrastructure in her village and improve the quality of municipal services for local people. Later she participated in special training courses organized by the UN and EU project on promotion of good governance. In the courses Aymira learned how to develop social projects, engage local people and work with local authorities.

"Before participating in the training I had no idea about the role and responsibilities of local self-governments, state and municipal services, about the approaches to solve local problems and the development of projects. This training helped me to understand that we, the people, are the basis of local self-government and must show our initiative" says Aymira.

Most people in Kyrgyzstan still believe that development is possible only through the initiative of the central government. Residents of Chorgochu are no exception and they have little faith in actions of local authorities and civil (public) organizations. But Aymira managed to break the stereotype. At the beginning of her work it was difficult to organize the villagers; it was not always easy to convince people to take part in meetings, particularly meetings with the local authorities. But over time she organized a sustainable group of people who engaged other residents of the village.

Together the villagers were able to solve several important problems of the village: renovation of a 5 km road inside the village and cleaning of a 7 km irrigation canal. Most importantly, many villagers saw in practice how local residents can take the initiative and work with local governments to solve their problems.

"It is important to understand that the solution of local problems, be it road renovation or providing access to electricity, appeals to each of us. Probably many are just not used to this idea and are reluctant to work actively with local self-government. I'm ready to share my experiences with people from other villages" says Aymira.

In practice, the development of equitable, high-quality municipal services requires effective organization of a partnership between people and local authorities. This is the basis of the project of the European Union and the United Nations “Operationalizing Good Governance for Social Justice” which is operating in 29 other village districts across the country.